from In Riparian Fields… ‘Hives’

Stupid non-entities,
likely illiterate, searching for power,
with no identities
surrendering to Mohammadans
or Jaysus
or even Boo, Dah

While every government in the
West holds us captive,
occupying minds with trivial
pursuits, some report as news
are not necessarily evil
but reflect

Where we’re all headed, once
the command arrives
to start learning Mandarin,
get back into that hive: see
without cash
the Emperor’s hiring everybody

To be on his side, since
nobody got the hand-written
message in a bunch of books; old
poetry you know,
even the poet was never so wise
to assume truth to be specific, or

Told without the associated lies
would not encourage belief in a book
or an ego as a substitute for life
where you’d discover a prize, but said
hey look
there are lambs and wolves and noise

Listen to the silence –
not quiet, not the absence of a dementia
not in some bereft of inspiration denial
or rabid embrace of mindless holy hysteria:
forget Hollywood
its fun house of slanted mirrors and instant

Revelations of communication
where nobody says anything worth hearing anyway –
don’t even recall that still small voice,
that’s the dwarf you’re sitting on
it’s only in one moment, dismissed as

Where you piled insights on waiting for
the payoff; the goods to be delivered
and nothing was understood, nor
brought forward to finalize:
the costs of avoiding what you always know
is no surprise, anyway

©Dean J. Baker


The Absence Of Trees





Welcome to the world where lies rule
where you can tear down one edifice
by sacrificing quality
the patriarchy for the class of women who
will then whine to be taken seriously
as individuals who happen to be female
at this or any other time

Where men wearing lipstick are not fools
or clowns or the new castrati choir
but useful idiots hailing the Stalinistic news
and being Native means a true patriotism
absent ego or avarice amid atavistic blues
in the simplicity of demented amnesia

Where all the intellectuals abandon truth
for a snapshot of cash and headlines
the same gangsters championing attitude
over substance, heiling abuse
in this semi-permanent dislocation
of people from events in the decline of Empire

Where reason has no enemy but itself
having been mistaken for rational objectivity
and anyone who can read can write and anyone
who can write can think except
the kaleidoscopic whirlwind orders nothing
into the strange ideas of form and inspiration

Where you can take a walk in the city as though
it were civilized and not merely the absence of trees
plowed down by any local maniac
providing revenue to undertakers, media and the false
promises of politicians who can do nothing but deny
anything is happening that you can choose
or not, to accept or make of mythologies, lies from truths

© Dean J. Baker

CELESTIAL MIGRATIONS IN THE EMPIRE $15.99 print, $5.99 ebook

.. from OF THE DOMINIONS UNLEAVENED… ‘Irrevocable’

Little murderers peek out from the lunar
landscapes of childrens’ faces, planning coups
and staging raids before the inevitable

Plots to corner the markets on candy, the
desperate strategies required
to defeat the giants, take over the world

Lilliputian generals gather around
the kids’ card table, filled
with talks of how others quit and failed

Minor incidents of resistance illustrate
lessons learned, while
a fierce determination strengthens inside

Revenge and retribution hide behind
the trifling smiles, flashlights
and toys stashed under blankets for the raids

Later, as campfires burn across battlefields
unnamed, little soldiers make their pride
with this astronomy of lights their solemn guide


©Dean J. Baker

..from DARK EARTH…. ‘Sharbot Lake’

Cancer and its casual curse
Remains unspoken, for better
Or worse the winter morning we sweep
Around the curve of Highway 37

Out of the woods and covered trees
The cracking ice, the brittle breeze
Parked deep from the White Lake
Hatchery, the fish frozen cameos

Up the hill to the native restaurant
We’ll take bacon and eggs and toast
To satisfy our search for tomorrow
Our Ulyssean voyage for more

Across the drive to The Rising Bun
Bread baked, muffins tossed, all awake
On tombstone highways
Into the town of the Lake, at the top

Of the dawning Cortez hill, the dream
Of trees and blue, the quilt of scenes
From another life we borrow now
As it fills the cup of steam arising from the cold

©Dean J. Baker

  • excerpt from
    DARK EARTH – 142 pages, $16.99
    ” The most unique set of poems I have ever read.”Rabelais and Hieronymus Bosch look out of dark chinks in these poems… instead of Emerson’s “Whim” above Dean’s lintel we might assume “Melancholy” resides here… that dark brooding that laughs below, and rises through the bones to jerk you awake from your too lazy sleep of existence.”
  • “Dean’s books will someday be required reading for anyone who studies literature, poetry, or, human artistry.”
  • “Having read Dark Earth by Dean J Baker my first reaction is WOW. This was written for me.
    His poetry speaks to me deep down in my soul.”

from DARK EARTH… ‘Bathurst Yards’

Sprawled in this boxcar apartment,
no one’s serious
the disturbance temporary

The end of the line,
the lock breaks –
the cargo falls out over-ripe

We shall never get there;
blueprints and maps
do not provide an idea of progress

Which does not matter,
stepping from the rails
to meet familiar ground

Watching how the sun I own
goes down through these trees:
our wings, folded like those leaves

©Dean J. Baker

********..from a review..”Rabelais and Hieronymus Bosch look out of dark chinks in these poems… instead of Emerson’s “Whim” above Dean’s lintel we might assume “Melancholy” resides here… that dark brooding that laughs below, and rises through the bones to jerk you awake from your too lazy sleep of existence.”***********

my books

Fat Albert’s Outpatient Folk Clinic – 1, The Initiates

Boris wandered lost in the crowd, stifling yet another belch;
knuckles sliding along the ground, shuffling towards his seat in
an overcoated slouch, a ham-fisted grab-bag of 2 large bottles of
Coca Cola, chips, and a stale cigar appeared from the executive
briefcase, clenched in the other hand. A Maestro preparing to
judge the participants.

Corncob was mounting the stage, the first and last object he’d
even come close to mounting in the last decade.

These were among the real Bloor St. underground denizens:
cave-dwellers, morons, and the intellectually quadriplegic.

Each of these unmentionables has participated in a simultaneous
and mutual evacuation that had completely polluted several
layers of whatever atmosphere existed only moments ago.

I sit back here, scribbling these words; praying that nobody will
notice me, or bring attention to the fact that I am being what they
please themselves to call cynical.
Though I believe it is simply relief that someone else has taken
on the task of description they would not be able to contain once begun.

I guess it doesn’t help that our peerless leaders are themselves
in dire need of such therapy as this cast of village idiots provides.

Let the fun begin.
Both were kings of long sustained bursts of silent thought.

©Dean J. Baker

-excerpt from Fat Albert’s Outpatient Folk Clinic, 110 pages, 12.99

Prose poems that are a paean to Musicians, Writers, Artists, & Wingnuts: to folksingers, the troubled and disturbed, open mic nights everywhere.

A coffeehouse, café as society…”Acid wit, deep insight, humor, powerful metaphor, intelligence…. A smooth ride on a bumpy road, with side trips into unseen hollows of the human experience…. What else do you need to know? An excellent read, worth sharing far and wide… More, please….”

..from SILENCE LOUDER THAN A TRAIN ..’Evolution’

The gorilla is swinging
from the rooftops
of a civilization he haunts.
In the back yard of this circus,
the pile of corpses
grows steadily higher.
He handles them quite gently;
as if they were puppets:
no sign of excessive violence.

There aren’t any distinguishing
marks on these tools
foolish enough to get caught.
The ape will oblige whomever
it is wants to be in on the act.
Since he grew weary of his hospital
cage, he falls on their beds
from a great height: always
bearing bouquets.

Poems, evil smelling ways for
achieving wealth; a proverbial
monkey on his back
because it has happened again.
This time nobody gains consent.
He didn’t intend to be provocative,
his hemorrhoids were inspiration.


©Dean J. Baker